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When are egress stairs not necessary in Single Family Residences?

Discussion in 'Residential Building Codes' started by Remington, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Remington

    Remington Registered User

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    I have a home in the city of Los Angeles that requires a winding/circular staircase in the entry way. It already has another secondary stairs going to the back exit. Will it require the winding/circular staircase to meet egress code since there already is another stair case? In other words does need minimum tread width etc.per code.

    Also, we want to install a prefab spiral stair case to the roof deck garden area . Since the roof deck is not a sleeping area, and not considered habitable space, can it just get a non-code compliant spiral stair?
     
  2. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Spiral stairs meet code....
     
  3. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    STAIRWAY, SPIRAL. A stairway with a plan view of closed circular form and uniform section-shaped treads radi- ating from a minimum-diameter circle.

    R311.7.10.1 Spiral stairways. Spiral stairways are permitted, provided that the clear width at and below the handrail is not less than 26 inches and the walkline radius is not greater than 24 1/2 inches. Each tread shall have a depth of not less than 6 3/4 inches at the walkline. All treads shall be identical, and the rise shall be not more than 9 1/2 inches. Headroom shall be not less than 6 feet 6 inches.

    Spiral stairs are already a bit dangerous even if they meet code. The plan to install spiral stairs that are less than code seems fraught with peril.
     
  4. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    I have installed a code compliant spiral staircase kit in my home. My guests always seem to have problems going down these steps. The stairway came with horizontal bars across the riser opening to be code compliant, I think my guests are bringing their feet down to close to the risers and their heel gets caught on the bar. Thank goodness these bars can slide out of brackets on the treads above when stepped on otherwise people may be falling down the steps. My house has a permit for a second floor that is 90% finished. I think it would be safer to take these bars out and then put them back in for a final inspection and then take them out again.
    Has anyone else have this problem?
     
  5. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    Welcome
     
  6. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Spiral stairs work for lighthouses and mountain cabins but have no place in single family residences as a primary stair.
     
  7. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    I also have an 6' wide exterior stairway from the second floor. I had to use the spiral because of a head room issue on an existing part of the house and they look cool too.
     
  8. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    YES

    NO

    This official interpretation clarified that all means of egress elements shall comply even though it's not a required means of egress. https://www2.iccsafe.org/cs/committeeArea/pdf_file/RE_12_06_16.pdf
     
  9. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    It's not required by code but does anyone regulate an stairway that is not a means of egress? Like a exterior second flight of stairs from the front door? Like a stairway from the grade at the front door to a lower driveway? or from a patio to a lower patio? Just wondering because I knew an inspector that required these stairways to be to code.

    How about non egress stairways for commercial buildings? Since they are a structure they need a permit.
     
  10. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    The code requires compliant stairs it does not require "a winding/circular staircase".
    Yes,
    All Stairs Shall meet the code.
     
    my250r11 likes this.
  11. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    As an IRC MOE ends at grade, we do not permit or inspect "landscape" stairs past grade at the building....

    R311.1 Means of egress. All dwellings shall be provided
    with a means of egress as provided in this section. The means
    of egress shall provide a continuous and unobstructed path of
    vertical and horizontal egress travel from all portions of the
    dwelling to the exterior of the dwelling at the required egress
    door
    without requiring travel through a garage.

    R311.3.1 Floor elevations at the required egress doors.
    Landings or finished floors at the required egress door
    shall not be more than 11/2 inches (38 mm) lower than the
    top of the threshold.
    Exception: The landing or floor on the exterior side
    shall not be more than 73/4 inches (196 mm) below the
    top of the threshold provided the door does not swing
    over the landing or floor.
    Where exterior landings or floors serving the required
    egress door are not at grade, they shall be provided with
    access to grade by means of a ramp in accordance with
    Section R311.8 or a stairway in accordance with Section
    R311.7.
     
    Ty J. likes this.
  12. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

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    Nice catch! Code compliant access to the public way must be provided, not as easy as it sounds in hillside areas (smiling).
     
  13. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

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    My IRC doesn't say anything about a public way. If it did I would also need to inspect the second set of stairs going down to the street/driveway from the front yard.
     

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